Saturday, December 4, 2021

WD Black D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD Review

Must read


Inside or Exteriorexterior
Capability (Examined)2 TB
NVMe AssistSure
Rated Most Sequential Learn3000 MBps
Rated Most Sequential Write2500 MBps
Guarantee SizeFive years

With an abundance of helpful connectors and—besides on the bottom model—a quick solid-state drive, the WD Black D50 Sports Dock ($319.99 without SSD, $679.99 with 2TB as examined) is an excellent way to boost your laptop computer or mini desktop’s connectivity and storage. Whether or not you might have an extensive sports library or loads of movies and images to stash, the 2TB SSD mannequin we examined is beneficiant with each pace and capability. The D50 can energy a laptop computer over its interface; you may join it to a LAN; and it is simple to add a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and different peripherals. There are simply two caveats: It would not come low-cost, and it will not work with computer systems that lack a Thunderbolt port.

It is a Docking Station—and an SSD

The WD Black D50 has the identical common issue as a mini PC or a palmtop projector, an sq. field measuring 2.2 by 4.7 by 4.7 inches (HWD). This all-black drive copies the industrial-chic aesthetic of WD Black-family gear just like the WD Black P50 Game Drive SSD, which resembles the sort of transport container you would possibly use for canopy in an FPS sport. The D50’s prime and backside have the identical form of corrugated texture as a packing crate, together with the mannequin identified in white lettering on the higher lid.

The entrance and rear are taken up by the dock’s multitude of ports, particularly the back. Along with a jack for the 180-watt energy adapter and a grille for a cooling fan, you may discover an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet jack, two Thunderbolt Three ports (one offering 87 watts of USB energy supply), a DisplayPort 1. Four connectors, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-A ports.

Up entrances are further USB-C and USB-A ports plus a headphone jack. Of the two remaining sides, one is devoid of any ports or slots, and the opposite has simply a prominent airflow grille.

Oddly, the drive’s left-side labeling is upside-down in contrast with the lettering on the correct, implying that the D50 will work simply as effectively when turned over. For that matter, you may stand it on the finish, resting it on the featureless aspect, with the grille edge going through upward.

With this profusion of ports—although I famous the absence of an HDMI port and a safety lock slot—you may connect a keyboard, a mouse, a headset, a monitor (supporting as much as 5K decision at 60Hz), or different peripherals and connect with a wired LAN, a good choice for environments the place Wi-Fi is intermittent or absent.

Whenever you first join the D50 to a PC’s Thunderbolt port, an RGB mild strip will cycle by a rainbow sample (finest seen when the drive is stood on finish or the WD identify faces upward). You’ll be able to select amongst a dozen different lighting patterns within the WD Black SSD Dashboard, accessible as a free obtain from the corporate’s website. It’s also possible to connect with third-party (Razer, MSI, Asus, or Gigabyte) RGB management methods from the dashboard, in addition to checking the drive standing (area allotted, volumes, and temperature) run S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics or replace the firmware.

WD Black D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD software

If your pc would not have a Thunderbolt Three or Four-port (a USB-C connector recognized with a Thunderbolt-branding lightning-bolt icon), this isn’t the drive for you until you are in search of a $680 doorstop. Attempt plugging it into a peculiar USB-C connection, and Home windows will not even acknowledge the drive. Thunderbolt, which transmits PCI Specific 3. Zero and DisplayPort indicators and DC energy over a single cable is a high-speed interface developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple; it is discovered on present Apple laptops and lots of midrange and high-end Intel notebooks. (Present AMD-based laptops aren’t supported.) The port makes use of the identical bodily interface as USB-C, nevertheless.

Using the Thunderbolt cable supplied with the drive, I examined the D50 utilizing my Dell XPS 13 ultraportable three Thunderbolt ports. The D50’s 87-watt USB energy supply may simply energy the XPS 13 when the laptop computer is disconnected from its adapter.

WD Black D50 Sports Dock Configurations

CapabilityMSRPPrice per GigabyteMax. Throughput (Learn/Write)
No SSD$319.99NANA
1TB$499.9950 cents3,000MBps / 2,500MBps
2TB$699.9935 cents3,000MBps / 2,500MBps

The “bare” (SSD-less) WD Black D50 lists at $319.99, with each WD and Amazon at present promoting it for $269. Based mostly on a perusal of Amazon and Newegg listings, that is towards the excessive finish of the value scale for a Thunderbolt Three dock. Just a few such docking stations price greater than $300, although most go beneath $250, with many accessible for beneath $200. Good 2TB exterior solid-state drives begin at about $250; the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2 costs $330. The 2TB D50 we examined, which mixes drive and dock, retails for $679.99. Though there’s so much to be stated for the comfort of the D50’s built-in design, you possibly can purchase a separate dock and drive for significantly much less. Although, keep in mind that you simply want a laptop computer with Thunderbolt Three or Four ports for the D50 to work. These guidelines out AMD-based fashions, many lower-priced Intel methods, and older laptops.

Testing the WD Black D50: PCIe NVMe Velocity in an Exterior Dock

The WD Black D50 is a unique product in that it is an exterior Thunderbolt Three docking station that comprises an M.2 SSD with speeds paying homage to a quick PCIe Three or low-end PCIe Four drive. Our comparability merchandise embodies various sets of external drives, many marketed as gaming drives or hubs and together with a combination of USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Gen 2×2 SSDs, plus one high-capacity (16TB) gaming hub with a 7,200rpm SATA laborious drive.

We subjected the WD Black to our ordinary suite of external drive benchmarks, comprising Crystal DiskMark 6.0, PCMark 10 Storage, BlackMagic’s Disk Velocity Test, and our folder switch test. The primary two are run on a PC with the drive formatted in NTFS, and the latter two are on a 2016 MacBook Professional utilizing exFAT.

Crystal DiskMark 6. Zero successfully measures a drive’s throughput: its sequential speeds in studying and writing giant, contiguous blocks of information. We examined the D50’s sequential learn and write speeds at 3,027MBps and a pair of,546MBps respectively, effectively in extra of the three USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 drives we included within the comparability group, whose learn and write speeds peak at around 2,000MBps (although none somewhat reached that mark in our testing). Equally, the USB 3.2 Gen 2 drives we examined fell a bit in need of their rated 1,050MBps learn and 1,000MBps write speeds, none of them clearing 1,000MBps in both courses.

The PCMark 10 Storage test generates a rating primarily based on a mixture of simulated workloads, together with a Home windows Defender scan, video enhancing duties, and utility launches. With a rating of 1,753, the WD Black D50 beat 5 of six comparability methods (all save the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD), although the FireCuda gained decisively, tallying a rating of two,445.

The Mac-based BlackMagic Disk Velocity Test, a videographer’s favorite, tends to lower scores than Crystal DiskMark. We clocked the WD Black D50’s write pace at 2,346MBps, and its learn pace at 2,279MBps. None of our USB comparability drives scored as excessive as 950MBps in both tests.

Lastly, the D50 aced our folder switch test, a stopwatch measurement of the time it takes to repeat an ordinary 1.2GB folder from our MacBook Professional to the test drive. I timed it at 1 second; six of our comparability drives took 2 seconds, one took Three seconds, and the Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hub did the job in 7 seconds, which is reasonably good for a laborious spinning drive.

An Intelligent Thunderbolt Docking and Storage Answer

Bristling with ports and with a zippy SSD that may maintain several dozen AAA video games or a small film library on the 2TB capability we examined, the WD Black D50 Sports Dock NVMe SSD is a handy, well-integrated mashup of external drive and docking station. It may energy and supply Ethernet connectivity to a laptop computer and has ports to attach a monitor, keyboard, mouse, headphones, and different peripherals.

As we stated, you possibly can avoid wasting cash by assembling your dock and exterior SSD bundle—and would have to in case your PC would not assist Thunderbolt 3. You probably have an AMD-based or low-end or getting an older laptop computer, and you may take a go. However, when you’ve got a MacBook or a mid-to-high-end, Intel-based Home windows machine with Thunderbolt Three or Four ports, the D50 presents a handy and highly effective, if expensive, built-in answer in a clear small dock-and-drive. Some issues merely by no means change: Thunderbolt gear will price you.


  • Bristling with ports
  • As much as 2TB capability
  • Very quick sequential reads and writes for an exterior drive
  • It gives as much as 87-watt energy supply
  • RGB lighting


  • Costly
  • Requires a pc with Thunderbolt Three port
  • No HDMI port


Should you’ve received the money, the WD Black D50 Sports Dock NVMe SSD nets you an industrial-cool, speedy drive/docking station with as much as 2TB of storage and a slew of ports. But when your PC lacks Thunderbolt 3, fuhgeddaboutit.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

You can also checkout

More articles

Disclosure: Written and researched by We spotlight services and products you would possibly find interestingWhen you purchase them, we might get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our companions. We might obtain merchandise freed from cost from producers to test. This doesn't drive our choice as as to if or not a product is featured or advisable. We function independently from our promoting workforce. We welcome your suggestions. E-mail us at [email protected].

When you buy through our links, we may earn some money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Latest article